The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned the decision of Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, to rename the rebuilt Adogba Central Mosque after himself. In a statement issued by the MURIC Executive Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, the group argued that Makinde had no moral right to name the mosque after himself as it was a replacement of the original mosque, which his administration demolished in 2020. The group warned Makinde to remove his name from the mosque before the upcoming gubernatorial election on Saturday to avoid a protest vote.
MURIC lamented that the mosque was demolished by the Makinde administration despite protests by the Muslim community. Akintola noted that within six months of Makinde’s resumption of office in 2019, he became known in Muslim circles as a serial mosque destroyer, and he had threatened to pull down Olore Mosque, turned Bodija Muslim praying ground to a recreation center and bulldozed Adogba Central Mosque. MURIC warned in November 2019 that Makinde should leave Muslim mosques alone, but he went ahead with the demolition and promised to rebuild it.
The statement read, “Our attention has been drawn to the name of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, which has been conspicuously printed on the newly rebuilt Adogba
Central Mosque, Iwo Road, Ibadan. It’s an insult to the corporate dignity of the Muslim community of Oyo State, in particular, and the entire Muslim Ummah in Nigeria.
“Makinde has no moral right to name the mosque after himself because it was a replacement of the original mosque, which was demolished by him.
“MURIC advised the governor to effect the change before the gubernatorial election on Saturday to avoid a protest vote. It doesn’t belong to him. It’s an attempt to rewrite history.”
The group argued that Makinde’s decision to rename the mosque after himself was an insult to the corporate dignity of the Muslim community of Oyo State and the entire Muslim Ummah in Nigeria. Akintola stressed that Makinde had no mosque, and he could only be justified to name the mosque after himself if the money spent on its construction belonged to him personally. He added that the money used to rebuild the mosque was the common patrimony of the taxpayers of Oyo State, not Makinde’s money, and therefore, he had no moral right to name the mosque after himself.
MURIC urged Makinde to remove his name from the mosque and replace it with the original name of the mosque, viz, Adogba Central Mosque, which he destroyed. The group accused the governor of exhibiting ulterior motives and playing on the intelligence of the Oyo State Muslim community. Akintola stressed that the best advice they could give Makinde at this point was to do the right thing and avoid a protest vote.
In conclusion, MURIC warned Makinde and other political leaders in Nigeria to desist from demolishing Muslim places of worship and renaming them after themselves. The group called for respect for the sanctity of places of worship and urged politicians to prioritize the welfare of the people they govern rather than using public funds for their personal interests.